Complaints are an important way for the management of an organization to be accountable to the public, as well as providing valuable prompts to review organizational performance and the conduct of people that work within and for it.
An effective complaint handling system provides three key benefits to an organization: It resolves issues raised by a person who is dissatisfied in a timely and cost-effective way, It provides information that can lead to improvements in the service delivery, where complaints are handled properly and a good system can improve the reputation of an organization and strengthen public confidence in an organization’s administrative processes.
How Companies Should Respond Effectively To Complaints.
Complaints are handled objectively and fairly with appropriate confidentiality, remedies are provided where complaints are upheld and there is a system for review for finalized complaints.
Complaints should be acknowledged in a timely manner, addressed promptly and according to order of urgency, and the complainant is kept informed throughout the process.
All the staff in a company should be guided on how to respond to and prioritize complaints. They should be aware of internal complaint handling processes including how to assess complaints which may be resolved quickly and those which require investigation.
All complaints should be acknowledged promptly. Complainants and, if applicable, the person who is the subject of the complaint, should be kept informed of progress and the outcome of the complaint.
Complaints should be addressed promptly in order of urgency and staff should be aware of any target timelines for resolving complaints.
2. Objectivity and Fairness.
Complaints should be dealt with in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. This will help to ensure that the complaint handling process is fair and reasonable.
The staff in the company should deal with all complaints on their merit in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. They must ensure that any conflicts of interest are declared.
The employees that are responsible for receiving and handling complaints should receive appropriate guidance or training, including for dealing with unreasonable conduct by the complainant or the subject of the complaint.
Personal information related to complaints is kept confidential.
The personal information of the complainant and any people who are the subject of a complaint should be kept confidential and only used for the purposes of addressing the complaint and any follow up actions.
If a complaint is upheld, the organization provides a remedy.
An insurance company should have mechanisms for enabling appropriate remedies to be provided when complaints are upheld and staff should be familiar with them.
Staff should be able to give the complainant reasons for decisions relating to remedies.
There are opportunities for internal and external review and/or appeal about the organization’s response to the complaint, and the complainants are informed about these avenues.
There should be an independent internal review or appeal process and details of external rights of review or appeal for unresolved complaints should be made available to complainants.